Eric Lesh is the Executive Director of The LGBT Bar Association and Foundation of Greater New York (LeGaL). Prior to joining LeGaL, Eric was the Fair Courts Project Director for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and individuals living with HIV. In his role, Eric focused his efforts on eliminating bias in the legal system, increasing diversity of the judicial bench, and expanding access to justice for LGBT people and those with HIV. He has trained attorneys and judges across the country, briefed federal courts on issues ranging from juror discrimination to judicial misconduct, and assisted court users through Lambda Legal’s help desk and educational resources.
Eric has written and presented educational programs for legal professionals on topics like: “Addressing Racial, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Bias in Jury Selection” and “Emerging Transgender Legal Issues for Family Court Judges.” In 2017, his publication, “Justice Out of Balance: How Judicial Elections and a Stunning Lack of Diversity on State Courts Threatens LGBT Rights” was featured by Adam Liptak in the New York Times. Eric’s articles have been published in the Family Court Review and Artificial Intelligence and Law, the Washington Post, The L.A. Times, and The Advocate. He has spoken on panels with state supreme court justices and federal judges. In 2017, he was recognized as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.
Eric received a B.F.A. in Musical Theater from the Boston Conservatory and his J.D. from Hofstra Law School, where he was an LGBT Rights Fellow. Prior to his work at Lambda Legal, Eric worked for the Wall Street firm of Beigelman, Feiner & Feldman, where he focused on appellate practice. Eric served as the director of a nonprofit organization, which implemented bullying prevention strategies in New Orleans public schools. He appeared in plays across the country, including the original workshop of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening.